"To take an action or make a gesture intended to preserve one's reputation or honour"I argue that this expression is under-used in this day and age of privacy violations.
|Awesomeness from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal!|
Privacy is notTech folk like me were surprised at the publicity around the leak of celebrity nudes a few weeks ago. With the continuous string of NSA scandals over the last years, we didn't expect anybody to still think their data was safe online. Apparently, we still have to make the argument for privacy...
For many people, privacy and the arguments against NSA style "collect it all" spying seem moot: "I have nothing to hide".
Now this argument has been solidly debunked in various articles, breaking down to these main reasons:
- You don't know what you have to hide
- You should have something to hide
- Privacy is a basic human need
You don't know what you have to hideIn the US, the federal government can't even count the number of laws one can break, and Moxie argues:
If the federal government had access to every email you’ve ever written and every phone call you’ve ever made, it’s almost certain that they could find something you’ve done which violates a provision in the 27,000 pages of federal statues or 10,000 administrative regulations. You probably do have something to hide, you just don’t know it yet.
A society with perfect surveillance means anybody could be locked up at any time as everybody does things wrong all the time. Law enforcement becomes arbitrary (and consequently a great means for controlling people who do things the government doesn't like). Just one recent example: in Washington, being smelly is a crime.
Moxie does not even discuss changes in policy and politics. What is legal today can haunt you tomorrow! This is not a hypothetical situation: in World War II tens of thousands lost their lives because the Dutch government kept extensive records on every citizen.
You should have something to hideThe second point is that if laws were never broken, they would never be changed and progress of society would come to a stand-still. In a world of perfect law enforcement, slavery would still be with us, sodomy laws would be in effect and women wouldn't be allowed to run businesses or perhaps even drive cars. Probably nice for bureaucratic governments (things are simpler that way) but I don't think it is wise to limit the world our kids live in based on what we can deal with and understand today...
Despite their very real impact, these arguments, to many of us, seem mostly relevant around an oppressive regime. We're happy that the protests in Hong …